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Monday, July 13, 2009 WJA, Community Member, asks

Q: Help me please! Any advise for a person (caregiver) dealing with an adult daughter with bipolar?

3 years ago we found out my daughter suffers from a bipolar disorder.  This has been quite a roller coaster ride.  She is some what better now, but still makes very bad decisions regarding men and finances at times.  She is 22.  Then we get a call when the her world is falling apart to help her.  This is very stressfull. How do we support her without treating her like a child?  She refuses to go to therapy and says she doesn't need it.  This effects my entire family greatly.        

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Answers (3)
nonethewiser, Community Member
7/13/09 1:06pm

Is your daughter on medication, and are they taken as prescribed?  The bad decisions that she is making sounds like she keeps having manic symptons that are not under control.  Your right having this Disorder can be a never ending rollercoaster.  If she is on meds and taking them as prescribed, sounds like she needs to have an adjustment to them.  It's very important that she see's her Pdoc on a regular bases.  Plus she needs to let him/her know about the problems she's having now.


Seeing as your the caregiver, sometimes you have to use Tough Love.  If you keep bailing her out of trouble, she'll have no reason to except her responsiblities.  Being manic doesn't mean she doesn't know what she is doing isn't wrong.  It just means she has gotten past the manic stage, and is in a panic trying to figure out how to undo the mistakes she's made.


I'm not a caregiver, I have Bipolar.  I had to learn the hard way years ago.  Good luck to both you and your daughter.

bipolarbear, Community Member
7/19/09 10:48pm

Dear WJA,

I have observed over the years that support people can reach a state of burn-out. There may come a time when the attention/resources that you have need to be focused on the rest of the family. My own mother has helped me immensely over the years, but she did it on the condition that I went to my doctor and took my meds...unfortunately if your daughter gets no meds or therapy, she may just spiral down and down.The nature of bipolar disorder can be that we repeat cycles that we do not analyze. I realize the first step is to get her to accept that there is a problem...but as she is an adult, unless she becomes a danger to herself or others there is little recourse you have to forcing her into treatment. I know tough love and boundaries are buzz words, but to me these are harsh truths. I do know there are some family support groups available--you might want to check into your local NAMI chapter. Take care,


marcella, Community Member
10/ 8/12 3:40pm

Iam dealing with the some situation, my doughter is a 40 years old bi polar.she is killing me inside. she is hutting  me so bad. I dont know what to do anymore. someone who is going trought the same .I refuse to kick my doughter out of the house, becouse probable shei is going to get in a big  trouble. I feel    very hurt .

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By WJA, Community Member— Last Modified: 07/17/13, First Published: 07/13/09